Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dune du Pyla - Beach Fun during Toussaint Break

Time Spent at the Beach is Always Rejuvenating!

As Fall is finally settling into the Bordeaux area, it's amazing to think just 2 weeks ago, we were enjoying the beach on the Dune du Pyla.  I'm taking today - Sunday to look back on a favorite moment during our Fall break.

I've written about the Great Dune du Pyla before - HERE.  It's such a beautiful, amazing force of nature and at the same time so peaceful and relaxing to enjoy.  It's only a mere 45 minutes from our home in Bordeaux and it provides endless entertainment and exercise!! This is a post more about a day in the Fall - just enjoying wonderful weather!

Just look at this photo - who wouldn't be in awe when one arrives there!  

Luckily, on this October day, the stairs were still there - they take them down in the winter due to winds and the slow, steady shift of the dune.  However, for some, like my youngest - it's more fun to climb up the back side on the sand (and even on all fours!)

Once we arrived on the top, we all enjoyed the view and a rest after the long haul up!  I love this series of photos of my youngest.  She just loves the sand!!  Siting in it - running her hands through it, touching it and just plain playing!!

 Even standing up - I love the sand that is falling from her hands!!  A true beach child!!
As one stands at the top and looks South - it's an endless dessert of sand - sloping up from the Atlantic Ocean.  The dune is  2500 meters or about 1.4 miles long.  We have yet to walk along the top - the length of it - but there are many who do.  For many people, it's a place for a great walk, a jog or even a hike - all along the top.  At the end of the day, you often see para-sailing.

The preference of my girls is to go up and over and head to the beach on the other side!! They love the view from the dune, the sense of space and feel - it's not just any beach - it's the DUNE!  Trekking up and over is not necessarily my preference - I'm just as happy to go up and enjoy the view - hang out in the sand and breath the ocean air! I could even sit and meditate on the top.  But not my children, the water calls to them.  The ocean waves, and especially here - it's a bit calmer as the largest waves are broken by a sand island out from the dune. The makes is a nice protected place to swim. Of course, it might be mid - October but when it's 80 degrees out - it's swim time!!
So down we went...down to the water...and my girls couldn't wait to get in the water!!
We met friends there and all the kids enjoyed getting wet.  The water was refreshing but still load of fun!
As you can see, we weren't the only ones enjoying the beach during this Fall break.  Often, this is the school break where families choose to stay home.  But I think since the weather was so beautiful and warm, many made last minute plans to be on the beach for a few days or like us make a day trip!
After enjoying a couple of hours playing in the sand and water - we started the journey back up and over the dune from the ocean side. When one goes up and over, the only way back is up and over! I have to tell you - this is a work out!!
Even my youngest decided that she wasn't really interested in climbing back up and convinced my friend's son to carry her a little of the way!!  Kudos to a really nice teenage boy who was a good sport!!

The hike up and back down the other side takes about 45 minutes!!  Now, the older kids were ahead of us and for them - a bit shorter time to climb up and over.  But it's wonderful exercise and a beautiful view!!

This final photo is my favorite!!  This was taken on the way back after she had climbed up and over!  A happy young lady who along with her sisters loved their afternoon on the beach!!

Happy Sunday to everyone!!  I hope you all are enjoying the day with family or friends and take time to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature that surrounds you!
Ersatz Expat


  1. Hello from the My Expat Family blog hop. I too have climbed Pyla, on a school trip when my son was 6. Helping out on school trips was something I enjoyed doing when Ed was younger.

  2. Wow this looks absolutely incredible what an amazing place!! I completely believe you when you say it's good certainly looks like one heck of a climb up!!!!
    Looks like you had gorgeous weather for it, a special treat for an autumn school holiday.!!
    You have some beautiful photos here, lovely memories from a lovely day!!
    Thank you so much for sharing with #myexpat family so nice to have you join in!!! X

  3. Your photos of this magical place are lovely. I've climbed it once, the day after a very big Bordelais wedding and I can tell you it was H.A.R.D! One of my favourite places in France is the Baie d'Arcachon. We used to go regularly to Cap Ferrat and gaze across at the dune. Lucky you having it so close. #myexpatfamily

  4. Wow thats an amazing place. My fave is that photo where the trees meet the sand! Amazing! I am an awe and your trip looks like so much fun too =) #MyExpatFamily

  5. I never knew this place existed - thank you so much for posting it to Travel at Home. It looks fabulous (if a true workout). What a wonderful place to have so close to home, I can see why it exercises a siren call on you and your family.

    1. Thanks for commenting - so nice to hear from readers and get their reactions. Yes - definitely a siren call! This is always a must see when friends visit. Take care and thanks for your blog share.

  6. the kids and hubby spent a fair few hours up and down that dune in 2005, while the youngest and i went to the local (nearby) zoo

    1. Cool - sounds like you have some fond memories of my beloved dune!! Thanks for commenting - always nice to hear from readers.

  7. Wow! What a fun family day out! Thanks for sharing.... now I am missing the beach, sand and blue skies even more! ;) Ha ha.
    Cheers, Nicole

    1. Thanks for commenting - always nice to hear from readers. This time of year, I'm missing my beach days...but happily we have sunshine here mostly year round! Have a great weekend.


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